Salt Cod Fritters (Frittelle di Baccalà)

salt-cod-fritters

In her special A Heartland Holiday Feast, Lidia meets Chef Maxwell Mraz and together they make a dish with salted eelpout. In his honor, she prepares these delicious Salt Cod fritters for the celebratory feast in Pennsylvania.

Prep time: 48 Hours

Total time: 30 Minutes

Yield: Serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless baccalà (salt cod) fillets
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Grated zest of 1 small lemon

Directions

  1. Forty-eight hours before you want to prepare the baccalà, place it in a large bowl and cover it with cold water by several inches. Let it soak in the fridge, changing the water completely every 8 to 10 hours. When you are ready to fry, drain the baccalà and pat it dry.
  2. Put the baccalà in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes, to reduce the saltiness. Drain, rinse, and let it cool. Cut it into 1-inch chunks.
  3. In a deep pot or Dutch oven, heat several inches of vegetable oil to 365 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in the egg and ¾ cup water to make a smooth batter. Whisk in the lemon zest just enough to distribute it in the batter.
  4. Spread about a cup of flour on a plate. Pat the baccalà pieces dry once more, then lightly dredge them in the flour on all sides. Dip in the batter, and fry, in batches, until the batter is puffed and dark golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on fresh paper towels, and season lightly with salt.
  5. Serve hot.
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